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Why Oxycontin Abuse Is So Dangerous

Jan 2nd, 2012 | By Dr. Jeffrey Huttman Ph.D. | Category: Addiction Treatment, Prescription Drug Abuse rehab

OxyContin is a painkiller available in the United States by prescription. Aside from its medically legitimate purposes, pain relief from conditions like cancer, arthritis and bursitis, OxyContin is sought after and abused by those seeking the high it produces. This euphoric high or “rush” from OxyContin, which sometimes also called OCs, ox, Oxycotton and oxy, is said to be similar to that of heroin, from the seemingly lessened stress level, greater inhibitions and lightheadedness.

Oxycontin Abuse Symptoms

Oxycontin abuse takes place when an individual seeks out the painkiller not to control pain, but as a means to a high and likely significantly different from what a doctor might order.

Those who continue their use of a pain medication, such as OxyContin, after the pain itself has been managed are likely addicted. If a patient continues to seek excessive pain medication after pain management is achieved, the patient may be addicted.

Physical symptoms of OxyContin abuse, if withdrawal is attempted, could include: anxiety, stomach issues (e.g., diarrhea, severe cramps), insomnia, vomiting, pain in the muscles and bones and/or involuntary leg movement. Some other signs of OxyContin abuse might include: memory loss, dry mouth, hypertension (high blood pressure) and even impotence.

OxyContin tablets are meant to have a controlled-release feature and to be swallowed whole. In an effort to feel its effects sooner and more strongly, many who abuse the painkiller instead chew up, crush, snort and/or inject it. Those who inject it directly into their bloodstream also risk exposure to viruses such as HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and hepatitis B and C.

Brain Damage Due To OxyContin Abuse

Someone who consumed a large dose of OxyContin are at risk of severe breathing problems, which could lead to oxygen deprivation to the brain (i.e., brain dmagae) and even respiratory failure or death.

What is most dangerous, perhaps, about OxyContin abuse is that the Oxycodone can change the brain’s chemical structure and actually change certain neural pathways within the brain. Even following detox from OxyContin, it is possible that some related brain damage may never be undone. What’s more, following such a detox, recurrent abuse could, even the first time, lead to respiratory failure and even death.

OxyContin Ingredients List

OxyContin, which was introduced as a prescription pain reliever in 1995, is oxycodone hydrochloride. Some OxyContin abusers create fake prescriptions or bribe pharmacists in their quest to illegally obtain the prescription painkiller and continue their high.

OxyContin is also known as “Hillbilly Heroin” because of its relative inexpensive cost compared to other highly abused substances.

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